Colonel coming to town?

KFC, Chester Fried looking at city locations

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A small flock of chicken restaurants could soon be roosting in Steamboat Springs.

The owner of the Taco Bell restaurant plans to expand the building to add a Kentucky Fried Chicken, while representatives from another "quick-service restaurant," Chester Fried, reportedly are scouting for a Steamboat location.

Taco Bell developer Bill Gillette of Gillette Management in Littleton applied to the city Planning Department for a permit to add 850 square feet and remodel the exterior of the building in Central Park Plaza. The addition would permit the restaurant to begin serving Kentucky Fried Chicken.

"Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell have co-located all over the country. This is more an upgrade of the exterior of the building," city Planner Jonathan Spence said. "Our perspective is, it looks good."

Spence said, if approved, the exterior of the expanded building will have a significantly different appearance. The primarily stucco exterior would be replaced with cultured "Ledgestone" rock siding finished with a blue/gray stain and a smaller amount of beige stucco.

Plans on file with the Planning Department indicate Gillette does not intend to increase the seating area at his restaurant. The expansion, which would increase the restaurant's size by one-third, would accommodate a chicken preparation area, two coolers and an office.

Spence said the path of the drive-in lane would shift to the south, and the developers have agreed to extend sidewalks that would wrap around the property to Central Park Drive.

The architect on the project is Lee Fischer of Eric Smith Associates.

There are pre-existing approvals for additional fast food restaurants in the immediate vicinity of Taco Bell but not specifically for the proposed expansion.

Chester Fried chicken offers turnkey chicken frying operations that often are incorporated into existing restaurants. The company has 2,200 locations, many of them in convenience stores, independent grocers and travel centers.

Promotional material for Chester Fried says its reduced-pressure frying method reduces the greasy taste of fried chicken.

A company representative could not be reached for comment at press time.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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